getting lost in music. Richard Blair was a rising producer in
the U.K., working with Peter Gabriel's Real World sound factory
and a host of international stars when he took a fateful detour
to Bogota, Colombia, back in 1992. Thinking hed spend a few
months, Blair tarried in Colombia for three years, transformed
the local music scene, and then returned to the U.K. under the
nom-du-club Sidestepper and did the same to London's percolating
drum 'n' bass scene.
The album "More Grip"
is 21st century salsa, drum´ n bass direct from the developing
world. Imagine the heat of Latin club shot through with
endorphin rush of junglist clatter or the boom of a drum 'n'
bass session deepened with tropical percussion and horns. Forget
what you heard Sidestepper is the real Latin boom.
Beat junkies already know that the Sidestepper story begins with
the sui generis singles "Maine" and "Logozo" (Palm's Phat Global
#1), the mighty 12-inches that brought Latin fire to the
dancehall. More Grip takes Blair's vision further, wrapping
vocals and live instruments around his devastating bass lines.
Featuring some of Colombias most
lethal singers and players like Aterciopelados vocalist Andrea
Echeverri and Carlos Vives songwriter/Bloque vocalist Ivan
Benavides, More Grip does for Latin music what Bristol prophets
Massive Attack and Roni Size did for
R&B and hip-hop.
Blair - Bass & Beats
Richard Blair is an engineer,
producer, DJ amd musician who studied music as a child, sang in
the school choir, and as a teenager played drums and keyboards
in various bands. He began to work in recording studios in 1988,
at Sinewave in Birmingham UK, where he worked with reggae
guitarist basil gabbidon from Steel Pulse, and the emerging
Bhangra scene in the asian community. In 1989 he took up a job
at Real World studios as an assitant engineer for Peter Gabriel.
he worked on the Gabriel record`s (1992) as an engineer , but
more importantly programmer, providing beats and grooves using
the emerging technology of samplers and computers. He also
worked with many artists from around the world during the time
at Real World, including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Toto la
Momposina . In 1993, he came to Colombia for the first time,
invited by Toto, and spent the next 3 years there, producing
many colombian artists, including a record for Carlos Vives, La
Tierra de el Olvido, where he met Ivan Benavides, future
collaborator in sidestepper. He also
worked during this time in mexico , producing records for Azul
Violeta. in 1996 he began the process that would lead to
sidestepper, travelling between Colombia and the UK, the first
single maine came out in 1997 on a small london label. Since
then he has concentrated on the band sidestepper, altho has
continued to produce , for example cuban band Asere`s "Cuban
soul " in 1998 . Sidestepper have now released 4 albums , and
with the band now based in bogota, continue to play in colombia, the US and europe.
Benavides - Guitar/Vocals
Iván is one of Colombia's biggest
talents, and I met him when he was the writer, and I was
the producer of the Carlos Vives record "la tierra de el olvido'.
He is also well known for his
work as Ivan Y Lucia, as well as collaborator with Carlos Vives,
and more recently with his band Bloque de Busqueda
Also participated as a judge on the TV program Popstar in
Colombia. Ivan is simply one of the
best songwriters I have ever met, anywhere in the world. In this
record 3AM, I could not have done it without him, he was a solid
, constant and wise influence, and I think wrote some of his
best ever songs.
Coronado - Vocals
Janio is a highly respected Colombian singer, who
currently works with the band Alquimia, and tours constantly
with them throughout Latin and North America. I first worked
with Janio on the last sidestepper record "more grip", where I
felt an immediate connection, and was very impressed with his
extraordinary voice, experience and technique.
On 3AM, Janio wrote and sang the tune "no llorare"
which perfectly represents the sweet and soulful vibe he
brings to the band.
On stage, he is a marvel, the consummate "showman", he never
fails to deliver a great show.
Erika Muñoz was "discovered" by
the program Popstar in Colombia, although she has been a singer
for many years already, working with folkloric groups in
Barranquilla. She has a wonderful
voice, and an impressive musical intelligence. On stage she has
a presence that belies her years, and is already shining like
the star she deserves to become.
Kike Egurrola - Drums
Kike Egurrola is another young talent, from Santa Marta.
He is a protégé of the legendary Paulino Salgado, aka Batata,
and he is truly the new representation of that heritage. He
plays drums and tambor ( the Colombian hand drum ) with equal
swing , heart and soul.
He gives the rhythm section great solidity, and has a profound
understanding of the Caribbean grooves we use in the band.
He also plays with pernet in the "ravers", and does a lot of
work as a session player in Bogotá.
To The Music Of Sidestepper -